Linking London’s Network of Collaborative Outreach: Supporting London’s college learners: Celebrating the work of Linking London’s NCO
Linking London’s Network of Collaborative Outreach will be finishing at end of December and our last NCO event on the 5 December 2016 provided an opportunity for advisers from across London to get together and hear all about the work Linking London has been doing over the last two years under this project. After a short introduction from Emily Harber, the NNCO Project Officer, Sue Betts Linking London’s Director welcomed everyone and thanked them for their involvement within this HEFCE funded project.
The afternoon then started with a presentation summarising the national picture highlighting the evaluation findings from the national evaluation report carried out on behalf of HEFCE by Sheffield Hallam and London Met universities. It is clear to see that the £22 million project over the two years has been a success and has encouraged more young people to consider HE as an option. This has been possible through the establishment of 34 local and 3 national networks. In total the scheme was able to cover 98% of state funded schools and colleges, primary through the support of each network’s SPOC (Single point of Contact) and developing a website to pull information together.
We then shifted our attention to focus and look specifically at the work of Linking London. Throughout the duration of the project Linking London has been working with their partners to support and deliver a number of outreach projects to help enhance and improve the advice available to advisers and learners about progression to and through Higher Education. Karina Berzins from Continuum at UEL and Yvonne Beauchamp from GSM London both presented on the project work they have been doing. Karina presented on two large scale research projects she has led on: Reaching East (in collaboration with UCL and UEL) and Reaching London (in collaboration with The University of Greenwich). The projects have provided an in depth understanding of the delivery and impact of outreach in London. One of the main outcomes of this research has been the development of an online dashboard which contains a variety of contextual data at individual school and college level, including learners demographics, achievement data and HE participation data. The dashboard can be viewed here.
Yvonne Beauchamp, from GSM London then introduced the group to a strengths based educational approach that they have adopted with staff and students at their university. The strength based approached has been developed to enhance a sense of belonging and unlock the skills and potential each individual student has so they can concentrate on their strengths and develop better self-awareness. Yvonne then discussed how this strength based approached can be used when supporting learners who want to progress onto higher level learning and how it can help them to complete their UCAS application once they decide they do want to progress onto HE.
Lyn Brennan, who undertook an external evaluation of our NCO, then reported to the group about her findings. She was very positive about all the work that has been going on and the resources that have been created. You can view the executive summary of the report on our HECAIL website here.
We then launched and handing out our brand new subject specific adviser guides. These guides in Art and Design, Business, Computing and Psychology have been specifically designed for advisers working with college learners who are interested in pursuing a higher education course in one of these areas. The guides provide information about the whole range of HE provision available in London, application support, career advice and labour market information within these subject areas. Please get in touch if you would like us to send you hard copies or you can download the pdf versions via our HECAIL website.
The event then went on to look at some of the other resources and work that has been produced under the NNCO which will continue to be available post December 2016. Here is a brief summary:
HECAIL (Higher Education College Advisers in London) Adviser website: your one stop shop for advice and guidance to help you support college learners as they explore their options, apply and progress to higher level learning.
UCAS Personal Statement Tool : supporting level 3 college learners who are applying through UCAS
Adviser Events: you can access the event reports and presentations from all the NNCO adviser events we ran
Printed Resources: here you will find all the NNCO resources we have developed including, a good practice guide to admissions, four subject specific adviser guides, and HE in FE London mapping.
To conclude Linking London staff thanked everyone for coming along, and all those who have contributed during the last two years in making Linking London’s NNCO a success.
Presentations from the day: